Getting organized for the new year is a cliched resolution that so many of us abandon by mid-January. It’s tough to tackle (much less successfully emerge from) a heaping mess with vigor. But if you fear an avalanche of teetering files or can’t remember where the car keys are for the 10th time, organization should rightfully top your to-do list.
The following free Web-based tools offer guidance that’ll take the sting out of the cleaning process. Plus, they can be coupled with other resolutions, such as keeping track of finances and teaching the kids responsibility, so you can knock out two or more resolutions at once:
Companies push customers to move from paper to electronic statements, touting it as a way to make life easier. But when you have numerous Web sites to check and too many user names and passwords to remember, it can quickly turn into a headache. Pageonce (www.pageonce.com) allows users to check all such accounts, including credit card, banking, utility and online retailers, in one swoop from any Web browser, BlackBerry or iPhone. Users are notified when bills are due to help avoid late payments and fees, and statements are updated with the latest transactions. To safeguard accounts, Pageonce asks for only an e-mail address and ZIP code during sign-up (no account numbers), and services are read-only, meaning Pageonce cannot manipulate accounts.
When you’ve been doing them for a while, chores lose their appeal (if they ever had any). Try Chore Wars (www.chorewars.com) if bribing your kids with cash isn’t an option or if they are avid gamers. The site couples household tasks with a fantasy gaming experience. Users do chores, log in, gain points and can fight mythical beasts and go on other adventures. The basic setup is free (an advanced version costs $10), and parents can log in to see what duties have been completed and how long they took.
‘The O Myth’
“The O Myth” (www.theomyth.com) is a sporadic half-hour radio show hosted by Washington professional organizers Brandie Kajino and Krista Colvin. The duo delve into common misconceptions about organizing, such as what you should invest time in streamlining (your garage) and what you can disregard (your underwear drawer). One recent guest was consultant Peter Walsh of TLC’s “Clean Sweep.”